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Value of a comic

In this day and age of rebooting, relaunching, renumbering, and $3.99 comics…I find more and more incentive to quit the new stuff and go back-issue/bargain-bins only. Especially with Marvel comics.

After all, these days $3.99 will get me this:

uncannyxforce014

Or ~$3.99ish will get me these:

lessthan399

Booking Through Thursday: E-volution

btt buttonE-readers like the Kindle and iPad are sweeping the nation … do you have one? Do you like it? Do you find it changes your reading/buying habits? If you don’t have one, do you plan to?

No, I do not have either of those. Also do not have a Nook, and Barnes & Noble is getting dangerously close to me unsubscribing from their emails because I’m so danged tired of them pushing it so forcefully.

I’m pretty much “sold” on the iPad, in that “eventually…when I can actually AFFORD one” sorta way. A friend has one, and seeing it in action, I’m pretty sure that really, get myself a wireless keyboard that’ll sync with the iPad and a portable stand to prop the thing up like a laptop monitor, and I could pretty much go “computer-free” (“computer” = “laptop” or “desktop” machines).

I do have an iPhone, and recently I’ve dabbled with digital comics on it. I bought the classic Superman #75 a couple months back, just for the sheer novelty of having the thing right on-hand (next week marks the 19th anniversary of “The Death of Superman”). I’ve also bought two issues of DC Comics’ new initiative “The New 52.” Trouble is, the iPhone even is so relatively tiny that the reading experience feels like I’m trying to read through some sort of blinders.

As far as long-form reading…no-can-do. The iPhone is such a tiny thing that it’s even awkward to try to situate one’s self to even consider “settling in to read for awhile” with it.

An iPad might change that, but until I actually have one, I won’t be able to say for sure. And I certainly won’t be getting the iPad for the sole purpose of “reading”…the digital books/comics will just be a small part of the picture.

Right now, I don’t see any sort of e-reader changing my reading habits or buying habits. I’m buying one single comic series digitally and a month behind, for the discount…but that novelty is wearing off already, 2 issues in. Depending on pricing, I could see having an iPad having an impact on SOME of my comic buying, especially for the stuff that I just want to read once and be done with.

Once I’d get an iPad, I’d have to “take the plunge” with a book sometime to see how that experience would go…but really, I’d much rather have a $20 hardcover with me that gets lost/dropped/rained on/etc than a $500 tablet/computer device.

Given that I’m “sold” on the iPad, know there are “apps” for the Kindle at least and pretty sure also the Nook and OTHER e-reader formats, I absolutely can NOT see spending $150+ on something that’s arguably “just” going to be used to read e-versions of books. I don’t think I spend that much on new books in an entire YEAR, so it’s a huge up-front cost, BEFORE even getting to buy new books to read.

Even though $10ish is much cheaper than the $20-$30 most new (hardcover) tend to be priced at, it’s still $10 for something pretty much intangible (music I listen to, whatever the source…but if I’ve already paid $150+ for an e-reading device, the device itself isn’t going to get bigger or heavier for addition of a digital file). And I often feel that if I’ve already invested 1/3 to half the cost, why “settle” when I’m already on my way to the full, actual item?

The e-readers are also like computers to me, though: you buy one, and 3 months later, the next/greater version is out, or announced, and then it becomes a case of “well, I’ve waited all these years already…why didn’t I wait X more months?!?”

Of course…this all presupposes that I have to make the purchase myself: given a Kindle or Nook or such as a gift…I’m sure I’d find excuse enough to certainly make use of the device. Without an upfront cost to me investing in the actual device…that would certainly “level the playing field” in terms of books to be bought. And stuff like The Hunger Games or some of these other series–I wouldn’t mind getting those digitally.

Having the potential to have numerous books all contained in one device would certainly feed my “book-A.D.D.” and allow me to start numerous books and gradually work my way through ’em as the mood strikes for a given “book.”

Tales of the TMNT #58 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good
Story Title: All Tomorrow’s Yesterdays

The TMNT and the C.O.W.Boys of Moo Mesa team up again, this time to face the ultimate threat to the C.O.W.Boys’ Earth.

talesofthetmnt058Plot: Murphy & Ryan Brown
Script: Murphy
Art: Dario Brizuela
Lettering: Eric Talbot
Frontispiece: Michael Dooney
Editor in Chief: Peter Laird
Managing Editor: Dan Berger
Design: Eric Talbot
Front Cover: Dario Brizuela and Steve Lavigne
Back Cover: Fernando Leon Gonzalez

This issue is the latest installment in a series of teamups between the TMNT and the C.O.W.Boys of Moo Mesa.

Picking up from the most recent installment a few months ago, Utromi Preservi (an elite/secret society of Utroms) has gathered what they need to awaken a cosmic vampire, Galactose (think “Milky Way galaxy” for the joke). While the Turtles and their allies rush to try to save the C.O.W.Boys’ Earth, Donatello may have the secret that will save everyone. We also have a brief appearance by Cudley the Cowlick, who longtime TMNT fans will recognize from the TMNT Adventures series…nothing too significant about the appearance, but a great nod to said fans. There’s also a moment where the Turtles are shown other incarnations of themselves, which was VERY cool to see.

The art by Brizuela is very good. The style is enjoyable, though different from other TMNT artists (while keeping the characters recognizable and other expected things with a comic). The comic’s interior is black-and-white, but as the front cover is done by the same artist as the interior pages, one can see what everyone looks like in color and almost forget the interior is not in color.

One of the thing that’s been great about this title shows through with this issue’s story. For the most part, each issue is its own standalone story. However, creative teams will re-visit and expand upon earlier stories, building larger stories, even if they’re not consecutive issues in this title (which is almost an anthology, except that each story/creative team gets a full issue rather than having multiple stories/creative teams in a single issue).

The story is fun, though one has to really suspend disbelief on a few points. The cosmic vampire as a nod to Galactus is–while derivative–also kinda cool if one recognizes the association–on a metatextual level it adds plenty that there’s not time for otherwise in a single-issue story.

This isn’t the best single issue for one jumping aboard clueless about the characters; but so long as one isn’t looking for lengthy, drawn-out continuity and depth, it’s a fun issue with plenty of action and some jokes thrown in.

Additionally, as I noted when I reviewed the prior chapter of this story, another thing Mirage gets right is not only including a pin up page in the back of the issue with an image related to the story but a color alternate image also related to the story is presented in color on the back cover…no need to seek out extra copies of this comic for these bonus images.

All in all, this continues to be a strong title, telling TMNT stories from throughout their continuity by different creative teams, keeping the book always fresh and with some real heart behind the individual tales.

Ratings:

Story: 3/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3/5

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